When I was a little girl, my Thanksgiving was characterized by great food and big arguments. After the meal was done, the adults would sit around the table and the generations would go at it. Sometimes it was entertaining. Mostly, I felt uncomfortable and left the room.
When families get together, we bring lots of baggage with us. We bring old habits. We bring our stories and expectations for the other people. We bring defensiveness.
It can be a stressful time to say the least.
But it doesn’t have to be. We have enormous power to change the dynamic. We can participate in the status quo or we can become part of the change.Leave a comment
My friend Sarah was transformed by motherhood. Suddenly she had a new priority. Her babe was the most important person in the world to her. Of course. Many of us feel this radical shift in priorities.
She breastfed and made her own sling. She banished chemical cleaners from her cupboards. She made sure that she was always available. All of her time and energy was focused on her daughter.
Halfway into that first year she didn’t feel so rosy. She wouldn’t get around to a shower until 3pm. She wouldn’t let her husband get up at night to change the baby. She would leave her daughter with anyone. So Sarah wasn’t doing anything for herself.Leave a comment
I’m so happy to share this episode with Adam Marcus. He is a dear friend and colleague. We share a passion for integrating the teachings of mindfulness into a physical yoga practice. And he and his father traveled with me to NYC to have a day of mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hahn.Leave a comment
My dad sat down on my bed and rubbed my back. I had been crying and crying. At 10 years old, this wasn’t new.
He said to me, “This is what it’s like having an artist’s temperament. You’ll always have this.”
I was consoled.
And I was sad for my bleak future. I was going to keep coming around to this? It seemed like a hard price to pay.
I accepted his truth. For most of my life, he was right. I felt things intensely. My highs were high and my lows were really low. I rode a roller-coaster.Leave a comment
“Why is this taking you so long?!” Inside her head, she was screaming at her pre-schooler. Outwardly, my friend Stephanie clearly showed him her impatience. Physiology doesn’t lie.
“The shoes need to go on if we are ever going to get out the door. Why is this so hard?” That’s what she was thinking. “Come on, Will. Put on your shoes so we can go,” is what she said.
Will looks at her and doesn’t start putting on his shoes. He does the opposite. He starts taking off his socks.
And so it happens. Stephanie yells. She threatens. Will cries.
It’s so frustrating because she had been dedicated to not yelling. She wanted to be peaceful. Empathetic.
“I have all of these values. But sometimes in the moment, I have trouble living up to those values.”
Can you relate? I can. It’s hard to change behavior patterns. They are ingrained in us from childhood. (But I’m not blaming our parents. I know that my mom and dad were dealing with the same thing.)
We want to make changes, but we find we can’t. What’s the going on?Leave a comment